Books

Artivism: The Battle for Museums in the Era of Postmodernism

£14.95

From Banksy to Extinction Rebellion, artivism (activism through art) is the art of our era. From international biennale to newspaper pages, artivism is everywhere. Both inside museums and on the streets, global artivism spreads political messages and raises social issues, capturing attention with shocking protests and weird stunts. Yet, is this fusion of art and activism all it seems? Are artivist messages as subversive and anti-authoritarian we assume they are? How has the art trade commodified protest and how have activists parasitised art venues? Is artivism actually an arm of the establishment?

Using artist statements, theoretical writings, statistical data, historical analysis and insider testimony, British art critic Alexander Adams examines the origins, aims and spread of artivism. He uncovers troubling ethical infractions within public organisations and a culture of complacent self-congratulation in the arts. His findings suggest the perception of artivism — the most influential art practice of the twenty-first century — as a grassroots humanitarian movement could not be more misleading. Adams concludes that artivism erodes the principles underpinning museums, putting their existence at risk.

Read the Foreword here.

Paperback

215 pp.

£14.95

SKU: 9781788360739. Categories: ,

From Banksy to Extinction Rebellion, artivism (activism through art) is the art of our era. From international biennale to newspaper pages, artivism is everywhere. Both inside museums and on the streets, global artivism spreads political messages and raises social issues, capturing attention with shocking protests and weird stunts. Yet, is this fusion of art and activism all it seems? Are artivist messages as subversive and anti-authoritarian we assume they are? How has the art trade commodified protest and how have activists parasitised art venues? Is artivism actually an arm of the establishment?

Using artist statements, theoretical writings, statistical data, historical analysis and insider testimony, British art critic Alexander Adams examines the origins, aims and spread of artivism. He uncovers troubling ethical infractions within public organisations and a culture of complacent self-congratulation in the arts. His findings suggest the perception of artivism — the most influential art practice of the twenty-first century — as a grassroots humanitarian movement could not be more misleading. Adams concludes that artivism erodes the principles underpinning museums, putting their existence at risk.

Paperback

215 pp.

£14.95

6 reviews for Artivism: The Battle for Museums in the Era of Postmodernism

  1. Marie Kawthar Daouda, Lecturer, University of Oxford

    “This is an excellent, thoroughly informative piece of work that deals frontally with one of the most uncomfortable truths of our time: what appears as dissident protest is just another brick in the establishment’s wall. Adams addresses these matters as a thinker and as an artist who does not shy away from upholding a higher vision of art than engineered outbursts of falsely polemical dissent.”

  2. Michael Daley, Director, ArtWatch UK

    “In his Culture War – Art Identity Politics and Cultural Entryism Alexander Adams memorably surveyed the successive waves of contemporary art’s self-advancing cultural grievance-mongering in a suite of eviscerating essays. Here, the courageous young artist/scholar anatomises the most insidiously pernicious and quintessentially sinister art-subversive manifestation of our times: the conflating of political activism and progressivist art practice which he aptly dubs artivism.”

  3. Robert James, Conservative Woman

    “Alexander Adams’s forensic examination of the problem [of artivism] is a very useful guide… Though he is scrupulously fair in examining the purported aims of artivism, Adams’s conclusions are damning.”

  4. Derek Turner, Bournbrook

    “Adams has risked his reputation, perhaps career, with this withering dissection of the art world’s well-connected… Those who have a genuine interest in the future of fine arts should acquaint themselves with this passionate and powerful argument.”

  5. Laura Gascoigne, The Jackdaw

    “Artivism… warns of a serious threat to our public museums from the creeping politicisation of their programmes… Adams has done his research, and he knows his stuff.”

  6. Adam Limb, The Mallard

    “…a perfect synthesis of an assessment on where we are, and why we need to move away that position… Adams injects numerous examples from art history to make his case that most public art institutions have been weaponised and put into the service of Artivism.”

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